Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Eating Out: Fitz+Potts and Ciao Gelato (Plant Edition)

I've been to Fitz+Potts a couple of times before. It was a quirky little place with vegan options, however at the beginning of this year they have gone completely vegan, how awesome is that? Still very quirky. I recently decided to try and adopt some indoor plants (more on that later) and the place I was going to get them was but a block away, so of course I had to stop in for some lunch first.

They are famous for their vegan jaffles, and they have some amazing filling combinations. I got one with katsu, golden Japanese curry sauce, kewpie, fried shallot, water chestnut, pickled cucumber, and cheeze. It was pretty good, though I would have liked it to be a bit more gooey on the inside, and the hot pickled cucumber was a bit odd. But a tasty combination. They normally serve the jaffles with a side of potato chips, which I am not a fan of. So I got some fries instead. They don't have a side serving of fries, so I had to get the full serve. Normally not problem, but unfortunately these were not very good fries. They were luke warm, soggy, and over seasoned.

Katsu Curry Jaffle with Fries at Fitz & Potts

Inside Katsu Curry Jaffle at Fitz & Potts

Fitz+Potts is right across the road from Ciao Gelato, a place with several vegan options. You can see previous visits here. Fitz+Potts does sell a few of their vegan pops, but I prefer to go to the original place for a wider variety of options and being able to get a cone. On this day I got one of my favourites, the passionfruit, along with a new favourite, Turkish Delight.

Passionfruit and Turkish Delight at Ciao Gelato

The reason I went over that way was to visit The Plant Lounge, as I had been yearning to buy some cute indoor plants for my room. This was a Big Deal. I have a black thumb, but I really wanted them. And The Plant Lounge is a smaller, very personalised plant shop. It seemed the best place for me rather than going to a big nursery. I'd emailed with the owner before I went, and she is an absolute delight. And I brought home three new friends.

Plants from The Plant Lounge

From left to right: Buffy (ponytail palm), Bethany (baby rubber plant peperomia),and Beatrice (peperomia rosso). Sadly, Beatrice has died. And I just found out on Sunday when I was watering them that Buffy seems to have mealy bug. Oh no! I am really hoping that I don't lose her too. Bethany seems OK still. Being a plant parent is terrifying! But they bring such a lovely energy to the room, I guess I will keep on trying.

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim in ferns

Dim Sim also loves certain plants. Out in the catmax, there is a patch of ferns. As you know, she loves a good cave, and she has made herself a nice little cave in the ferns for some fresh air napping.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Recipe Round-Up: Vegan Vittles

The first edition of Vegan Vittles has a special place in my heart. It was one of my earlier cookbooks, and really introduced me to the joys of homemade vegan meats, cheese, and other tasty treats. It also has super cute photos and stories about animals at Farm Sanctuary, which is really sweet. Being one of my older books, I had already made quite a few recipes before I started taking food photos, so these days I am doing a mix of remaking some to get photos, as well as trying new recipes. You can see other posts I have made about this book here.

Oven-Roasted Tom Tofu with Golden Gravy: This is just a bowl of comfort. The tofu is marinated in a tasty broth (including soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and lots of seasoning), then coated in a mix of cornmeal, flour, nutritional yeast, and more seasoning. The marinade called for poultry seasoning, which I didn't have, so I just left it out. The tofu is baked until crunchy. I found it a little dry, but that also made it perfect for covering with gravy. (While I made another gravy recipe from the book to serve with this, you can also make a gravy with leftover marinade. I did this the next day. Just saute some onion and mushrooms, add the leftover marinade, and thicken with cornflour). But back to the gravy of the night, the Golden Gravy. This is super easy to make, and is based on flour and nutritional yeast with soy sauce and seasonings added. As you see, I served it all over mashed potato and some steamed green beans.
Rating: Tofu :), Gravy :)

Oven-Roasted Tom Tofu; Golden Gravy

Extended Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is pricey here, at least AU$7/250mL. So when a recipe calls for a lot, you have to think about what is going in there. I was making some stuff for a bake sale, and thought I might try making this extended maple syrup to help with costs a little bit. It is a mix of water, maple syrup, and cornstarch to thicken. Not surprisingly, while it is quite sweet the maple flavour was fairly subtle. I think when I try it again I will add a few drops of maple extract as well. But it worked well in the recipe (in which I also used a bit of normal maple syrup, so there was lots of maple flavour in it), and is a good way for cutting some costs!
Rating: :)

Extended Maple Syrup

Banana Chocolate Shake: This is so fast and so easy, using frozen banana as the creamy and cold aspect. There is also the option to make this with carob instead of cocoa powder, but as I prefer food that doesn't taste like dirt I chose the latter.
Rating: :D

Banana Chocolate Shake

Fruit Smoothie: I've made this recipe a couple of times. It is very simple, and you can switch up the juice and fruit as you feel like it. For this one I used some Impressed Jack Rose Juice (which is apple, strawberry, and mint), a frozen banana (the mandatory ingredient), and frozen mangoes and raspberries. It is sweet and refreshing, though not very filling.
Rating: :)

Fruit Smoothie

Spinach Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette: A simple salad of spinach, mushrooms, and grated carrot (which I used instead of raw red onion), that is tossed with a vinaigrette and topped with some bacon bits. There is a recipe for bacon bits in the book, but I just used some store-bought ones for ease. The vinaigrette itself is based on orange juice. The recipe calls for a mix of OJ concentrate and water, but I can't get OJ concentrate here (only fruit drink concentrate, which is mostly sugar) so I just used straight up OJ for all of it. It also has some Asian flavours as well, which is lovely.
Rating: :)

Spinach Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Spaghetti with Meaty Mushroom Sauce: I love how my older cookbooks use a lot of TVP, I feel that you don't see it as much now days. Everything is ground seitan or store bought vegan mince, but TVP wins my heart. This is a great, savoury, satisfying sauce based on TVP and mushrooms, served over spaghetti. It looks simple, but is totally delicious.
Rating: :D

Spaghetti with Meaty Mushroom Sauce

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Gizmo's 13th Birthday

Speaking of missing loved ones, I can't believe it has been over seven and a half years since I had to say goodbye to my sweet Gizmo.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Midweek Munchies (Coles vegan edition)

Hello friends! I have a load of pictures to share with you, but I'm just going to do a photo dump with a bit of a chat up top. Coles is one of our big supermarkets in Australia, and I have mentioned that they are having more and more vegan options of late. Well, a few months ago they just exploded with options! Some of them are newly developed Australian products, some of them are in house products, some of them are products we all will recognise. Woolworths (the other big supermarket) is apparently gearing up to do a big vegan product release of their own. The race is on for our sweet vegan dollars. So below is a bunch of stuff you can now get at Coles! Note they also have Beyond Burgers and some other 'meaty' brands in products that are not pictured here, because they are in the meat section and 1) I don't like going there, and 2) it would be hard for me to get photos of them without also having bits of dead animals in the photos. Some Coles seem to have a huge dedicated plant-based section in their animal flesh aisle, but none near me. I haven't tried most of the products that are pictured below, and to be honest there are a lot I won't try (lots are spicy or have coconut oil in them). But keep an eye out in future midweek munchies for when I do sample some! These photos aren't even all of what is available!


Well & Good Mac and Cheese
















Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

084 (2)

Sahara really was the most beautiful red bear.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Eating Out: The Green Edge

A bit of a photo heavy post today, but lots of goodies and I'll keep the text light. I've been back to eat at The Green Edge, Brisbane's vegan grocery store and cafe, a few times lately. Let's start off with the savour meals! (You can see my other Green Edge posts here.

They have a sit down area, of course, but they also have a cabinet of things that you can pick up if you are on the go. My favourite thing is their Chicken Caesar Salad. It is so fresh, loaded with Lamyong Salty Crispy Chicken, bacon chunks, and croutons, and has a delicious dressing.

Chicken Caesar Salad from The Green Edge

Of course, if you want to eat in they have a lot of options on the menu. Like this Double Bacon Double Cheeseburger.

Double Bacon Double Cheese Burger from The Green Edge

They also have a breakfast menu, and my favourite thing is the Bacon and Egg MockMuffin, with a side of chunky chips because breakfast should have potato.

Bacon & Egg MockMuffin at The Green Edge

They have a large drinks menu. The frappes and shakes all use coconut ice cream, so if I am looking for something refreshing I will order off the juice menu. The Clean Dream is a mix of watermelon, apple, and strawberry.

Clean Dream Juice at The Green Edge

They also have a range of baked goods and treats in their cabinet. While some of these come from other local vegan businesses, they also have got their own in house baker who makes amazing treats! I have sampled many of these when I was stopping in for groceries. So please enjoy this parade of photos.

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie

Brownie from The Green Edge

Peanut Butter Blondie (my favourite!)

Peanut Butter Blondie from The Green Edge

PB&J Blondie

PB&J Blondie from The Green Edge

Giant Cookies (This is just half of one, and it is the size of my face. It is chocolate cookie in the middle, surrounded by chocolate chip cookie, and the dough from the chocolate cookie spreads out in between the other dough for a bit, and it is so good.)

Half Giant Cookie from The Green Edge

Berry Crumble Slice

Blueberry Crumble Slice from The Green Edge

PB Marshmallow Blondie

PB Marshmallow Blondie from The Green Edge

The Green Edge - Shop 2b 229 Lutwyche Road, Windsor, QLD - (07) 3861 1132

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Gizmo and Sahara

I've been thinking a lot about these two little love bugs lately. I miss them always.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Recipe Round-Up: Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day

I love sandwiches. They can be simple, or they can be fancy, but hopefully they will always be tasty and satisfying. If you are looking to up your sandwich game, Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes has you covered. This book has a huge range of sandwiches (and interpretations of the sandwich theme) that will keep you enjoying the best use of sliced bread. You can see previous posts about this book here.

Hot Brown Sandwiches: These sandwiches originated in 1926 from the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky (the book has some cool sandwich history for some recipes). The original had turkey, bacon, and cheese sauce. This version has a garlicky sauce, with broccolini and smoky tofu bits. For sauce calls for 12 cloves of garlic. As I don't do as well with garlic anymore, I used four cloves and 1 tsp of garlic powder. I also subbed in soy milk instead of coconut milk. This is from the 'topless' sandwich chapter, so it only uses one bit of bread. Topped with a slice of tomato, broccolini, sauce, and tofu bits and then baked until everything is hot and bubbly. It was a nice combination, but I would suggest also putting sauce on the bread underneath the tomato as well. The bread itself was a bit dry. You can see I had some leftover broccolini and sauce, which I served on the side.
Rating: :)

Hot Brown Sandwiches

Retro KFC-Style Sandwiches: This sandwich as written has cornflake crusted seitan, with a special sauce and salad on a bun. I took the tofu variation, as I always have tofu on hand and to be honest I just prefer it. I was only making 2 sandwiches, so I used a 300g block of tofu, cut in half widthwise, and then I used a large scone cutter to cut the tofu into circles. The seasoned cornflake coating was so nice and crunchy on then, and the mayo based sauce was very yummy. I'd put the lettuce on the bottom next time, because it just kept falling off the patty. This is a fun sandwich.
Rating: :)

Retro KFC-Style Sandwiches

Peanut Butter Banana Bacon Sandwiches: I'm assuming this was Elvis inspired. It is a fun combination, and pretty easy to make. The star or the show is the chickpea bacon, which is exceptionally delicious. I thankfully had made a full batch of the chickpea bacon, even though I was only making one sandwich, and so I used the extras for snacking at to make a BLT baked potato (included as a bonus picture here).
Rating: Overall sandwich :), chickpea bacon :D

Peanut Butter Banana Bacon Sandwiches

BLT Baked Potato with Chickpea Bacon from VSSTD

Asian Eggplant Sandwich: Think a delicious sauteed eggplant in sauce, on a bun with mayo and salad. The sauce has ketchup and peanut butter, as well as some other bits, so you know it is yummy. I left out the sambal oelek, and served the sandwiches with sriracha if people wanted some heat. I also changed the fresh veggies from a slaw to a salad, using shredded cos (romaine) instead of cabbage and leaving out the raw onion. I served these on Vietnamese baguettes. This was really nice, but not very filling.
Rating: :D

Asian Eggplant Sandwiches

Apple Tempeh Triangle Dippers: This book does have a broad interpretation of what a sandwich is. I made a half recipe of this, which would make 8 mini triangles for dipping. Instead I made four triangles, using a 10 x 10 inch sheet of vegan puff pastry. The filling is a mix of apple, tempeh bacon, and pomegranate seeds. It was nice, but at the end of the day I am just not that fussed of pomegranate seeds. It is served with a tasty sweet and sour dipping sauce made from pomegranate juice, maple syrup, and lemon juice. I also served this with some steamed broccoli, which was very nice with the sauce.
Rating: :)

Apple Tempeh Triangle Dippers

Fruit Roll-Ups: From the sweets section, this is a lovely snack or light dessert. The secret is a delicious spread, based on peanut butter and pumpkin puree. I don't know how to describe how amazing it is, but trust me. The tortillas also have bananas, dried cranberries, and chopped peanuts in them (you can mix and match your own ideal combination). It is served with vanilla sauce or vanilla yoghurt for dipping, I went with Impressed Almond Vanilla Yoghurt.
Rating: :D

Fruit Roll-Ups

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Unlike her mother, Dim Sim loves basking in sunlight. She loves spending some time behind the blinds in the sunroom in the morning, just soaking it all in.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Midweek Munchies

More random food things.

I've been sick a few times this year, which is annoying. One day I made these instant noodles for lunch. They were pretty nice, though a bit on the salty side.

Instant Brown Rice Mushroom Noodles

Over winter I was definitely into toasted sandwiches. This is a classic, with Daiya and Tofurky Ham. I always have some ketchup for dipping as I eat.

Grilled Daiya and Tofurky Ham Sandwiches

You know me and my silly drinks! But this actually was very tasty. They suggest you can use it as a salad dressing or in other dishes as well, but I just drank it straight.

Turmeric Kraut Juice

Winter was also a great time for soup. I miss winter, it is hot and sweaty now. But I did have a fun time exploring the slowly expanding range of vegan-friendly soups on the supermarket shelves. Like this Pumpkin Soup from La Zuppa. It can be quite hard to find pumpkin soup that doesn't have dairy in it, so this was lovely. I served it with a bit of leftover tofu sour cream I and some leftover coconut bacon I had that needed to be used up.

La Zuppa Pumpkin Soup (with coconut bacon)

Bringing together two great things - toasted sandwiches and soup! Coles brought out their own range of soups, some of them vegan friendly. This Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup with Cashews was fine, it was nice and creamy, but definitely needed some more seasoning. Nothing some salt and some nooch can't fix. With a grilled Daiya cheddar sandwich.

Coles Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup; Grilled Daiya Cheddar

The final thing for this post is these Black Sesame Mochi ice creams. I've seen people posting about them, but got really keen to try them after reading this post by Jennifer. When I saw them in Woolworths, I was so excited! But cautiously so, as they are coconut based. But the good news is that I can eat one or two with no problems, and they don't have that heavy coconut fat taste or texture. I got the black sesame flavour, but they also had green tea. These were so good, and a perfect quick little cold sweet treat for hot days.

Black Sesame Mochi

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim

Holding paws with my baby girl.